The Stoic Glossary
Learn the words the Stoics would have known
adiaphora (ἀδιάφορα): indifferent things, neither good nor bad.
agathos (ἀγαθός): good, proper object of desire.
anthrôpos (ἄνθρωπος): human being, used by Epictetus to express an ethical ideal.
apatheia (ἀπάθεια): serenity, peace of mind, such as that achieved by the Stoic sage.
aphormê (ἀφορμή): aversion, impulse not to act (as a result of ekklisis). Opposite of hormê.
aproêgmena (ἀπροηγμένα): dispreferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally undesirable things, such as illness. Opposite of proêgmena.
aretê (ἀρετή): Virtue. Goodness and human excellence.
askêsis (ἄσκησις): disciplined training designed to achieve virtue.
ataraxia (ἀταραξία): tranquillity, untroubled by external things.
autarkeia (αὐτάρκεια): self-sufficiency, mental independence of all things.
daimôn (δαίμων): divine spirit within humans.
diairesis (διαίρεσις): analysis, division into parts. Used when distinguishing what is subject to our power of choice from what is not.
dikaiosyne (δικαιοσύνε): justice, "consonant with the law and instrumental to a sense of duty" (Diogenes Laertius 7.98). One of the four virtues (justice, courage, temperance, wisdom/prudence).
dogma (δόγμα): principle established by reason and experience.
doxa (δόξα): belief, opinion.
ekklisis (ἔκκλισις): aversion, inclination away from a thing. Opposite of orexis.
ekpyrôsis (ἐκπύρωσις): cyclical conflagration of the Universe.
eph' hêmin (ἐφ' ἡμῖν): up to us, what is in our power, e.g. the correct use of impressions.
epistêmê (ἐπιστήμη): certain and true knowledge, over and above that of katalêpsis.
eudaimonia (εὐδαιμονία): happiness, well-being.
eupatheia (εὐπάθεια): good feeling (as contrasted with pathos), occurring in the Stoic sage who performs correct (virtuous) judgements and actions.
hêgemonikon (ἡγεμονικόν): ruling faculty of the mind.
heimarmenê (εἱμαρμένη): fate, destiny.
hormê (ὁρμή): positive impulse or appetite towards an object (as a result of orexis). Opposite of aphormê.
hylê (ὕλη): matter, material.
kalos (κάλος): beautiful. Sometimes used in a moral sense: honourable, virtuous.
katalêpsis (κατάληψις): clear comprehension and conviction.
kathêkon (καθῆκον): duty, appropriate action on the path to Virtue.
kosmos (κόσμος): order, world, universe.
logikos (λογικός): rational.
logos (λόγος): reason, explanation, word, argument. Also, the ordering principle in the kosmos.
logos spermatikos (λόγος σπερματικός): the generative principle of the Universe which creates and takes back all things.
nomos (νόμος): law, custom.
oiêsis (οἴησις): opinion, usually arrogant or self-conceited.
oikeiôsis (οἰκείωσις): self-ownership and extension. The process of self-awareness in all animals, which in humans leads to a sense of community.
orexis (ὄρεξις): desire, inclination towards a thing, Opposite of ekklisis.
ousia (οὐσία): substance, being.
paideia (παιδεία): training, education.
palingenesia (παλιγγενεσία): periodic renewal of the world associated with ekpyrôsis.
pathos (πάθος): passion or emotion, often excessive and based on false judgements.
phantasiai (φαντασία): impression, appearance, the way in which something is perceived.
physis (φύσις): nature.
pneuma (πνεῦμα): air, breath, spirit, often as a principle in Stoic physics.
proêgmena (προηγμένα): preferred things. Morally indifferent but naturally desirable things, such as health. Opposite of aproêgmena.
pro(h)airesis (προαίρεσις): free will, reasoned choice, giving or withholding assent to impressions.
prokopê (προκοπή): progress, on the path towards wisdom.
prolêpsis (πρόληψις): preconception possessed by all rational beings.
prosochē (προσοχή): attitude and practice of attention. State of continuous, vigilant, and unrelenting attentiveness to oneself (prohairesis)
psychê (ψυχή): mind, soul, life, living principle.
sophos (σοφός): wise person, virtuous sage, and the ethical ideal.
sunkatathesis (συγκατάθεσις): assent, approval to impressions, enabling action to take place.
sympatheia (συμπάθεια): sympathy, affinity of parts to the organic whole, mutual interdependence.
technê (τέχνη): craft, art. The practical application of knowledge, especially epistêmê.
telos (τέλος): goal or objective of life.
theôrêma (θεώρημα): general principle or perception.
theos (θεός): god; associated with the order in the Universe.
tonos (τόνος): tension, a principle in Stoic physics causing attraction and repulsion, and also the cause of virtue and vice in the soul.